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Author Topic: "Free: The Future of a Radical Price"  (Read 18663 times)

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« Reply #50 on: August 21, 2009, 17:25 »
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Check this story on Wikipedia:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/21/hewlett_funds_wikipedia/

Wikipedia's free content is paid for by big donations from individuals and groups. And they're barely scraping by.  As the article points out, watch for this "free" content to become ad-supported in the future.


« Reply #51 on: August 21, 2009, 17:57 »
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Wikipedia's free content is paid for by big donations from individuals and groups. And they're barely scraping by.  As the article points out, watch for this "free" content to become ad-supported in the future.


I don't think free microstock will come from the money people will make, it will come about simply because it can. Most people don't care that wikipedia scrapes by on donations they just use the service because it works and because it's free.

it's started already with low quality freebies as the dangled carrot, from there we go to free sites wanting to differentiate themselves by offering more or better quality and higher resolutions. If it's possible then it will happen regardless of photographers liking the idea or not. The photos may come from all various sources, microstock rejects, perhaps aggregation of already free images online, by people donating images for some reason or reward (being on the 'frontpage' is enough for a lot of people) or through paying for content supported by ad revenue.

I'm beginning to wonder if that even the good stuff, the difficult to obtain or setup will eventually end up this way. it's fine if you find that idea abhorrent, just hope that EVERY other photographer on the face of the internet feels the same way.

When all that is said, even if there is free stuff around, there will still be plenty of people willing to pay for stock photos, convenience, guarantee, exclusivity etc, that's why there are still people buying RM and macro RF images even while micro is selling similar things for a few dollars.

« Reply #52 on: August 21, 2009, 20:46 »
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Once the microstocks acquire a critical mass of free "good enough" images it may become hard for not-free portfolios to compete, as many buyers will just stop looking at anything that isn't free.   Free stock will become a singularity, a black hole that pulls everything in.

I think we're doomed to go through this cycle with every sort of content: news, music, photos, encyclopedias.  All will be available free, somewhere, for a while; and in the long run it doesn't work.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 21:41 by stockastic »

« Reply #53 on: August 22, 2009, 01:39 »
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There are already 'Free Licenced Images' from companies like Getty I blogged about one service here:

Quote
PicApp has 20 million images from Getty Images, Splash, Corbis and alike, covering sports, news, entertainment, fashion, travel and more. All images are fully licensed and free to use.

I just used the PiccApp service and searched for 'Business Growth' and over 200 images were returned, I selected  this Getty image which is embedded in my blog post is a typical microstock style image, there is a button to embbed the image in your online website, article or blog, the cost of this service is free for the writer with a condition that the image has a relevent paid advertisment below it.

The PicApp service works by selling advertising to companies, some of this revenue is passed on to the image suppliers, this all sounds good but reading FAQ's from the PicApps website the images from Getty are wholly owned, which looks like the artist does not benefit as Getty own the copyright.

The PiccApp image I embedded has no advertisement and only has an ugly thumbnail gallery below it at the moment, and when you click on a thumbnal or the Image it returns you to the website, where you will see the name Getty with a link.

I do not think that a service like this would appeal to any microstock agency for un-owned content as the returns would be to low, but these services have a positive side in educating people that there is a requirement to use 'Licenced Images' even if they are 'Free at the point of Delivery', but we all know that the advertisers are paying for this 'Free Service'

David
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 02:27 by Adeptris »

« Reply #54 on: August 22, 2009, 04:00 »
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Once the microstocks acquire a critical mass of free "good enough" images it may become hard for not-free portfolios to compete, as many buyers will just stop looking at anything that isn't free.   Free stock will become a singularity, a black hole that pulls everything in.

I think we're doomed to go through this cycle with every sort of content: news, music, photos, encyclopedias.  All will be available free, somewhere, for a while; and in the long run it doesn't work.


But they wont ever achieve a critical mass of free "good enough" images, so there is nothing to worry about.  Why would the sites that are making good profits now, in a poor economic climate, allow their profits to be eradicated by their own free sections?  Why would contributors who are making money supply images to free sites that reduce their earnings?  It just doesn't make any sense to me.  There are already free alternatives to windows, office, photoshop, illustrator etc. but I don't see microsoft and adobe going out of business.  People will always pay for a superior product.

« Reply #55 on: August 22, 2009, 07:23 »
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But they wont ever achieve a critical mass of free "good enough" images, so there is nothing to worry about.  Why would the sites that are making good profits now, in a poor economic climate, allow their profits to be eradicated by their own free sections?  Why would contributors who are making money supply images to free sites that reduce their earnings?  It just doesn't make any sense to me.  There are already free alternatives to windows, office, photoshop, illustrator etc. but I don't see microsoft and adobe going out of business.  People will always pay for a superior product.

You have right Sharpshot....

Many of people here make conclusion with semi-informations. Maybe just because they want to heard different...

I have friend who is web designer... He works for big american company for a 10 years or more, I think....

He said:
"Before microstock was very hard to find "good enough" photo on free photos site, I needed several hours to find subject for my project, often with too bad quality...
 Microstock was big refreshment for all of us, sometimes I need "express" some photo, of an old ship,for example...
Now I go to IS, type "ships old" in search engine and I have tons of high quality images about ships, all kind, even with "match color" with my project.. After start of microstock I never go on free sites again...
For 15 $ I have too good photos for site which I'll charge a few thousand dollars to my client... Before microstock I had to (very often) to take my compact camera and try to shot some isolation or some object on white, only because I couldn't find that motive on internet...
That was big waste of time for me"
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 08:09 by borg »

« Reply #56 on: August 22, 2009, 07:41 »
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For 15 $ I have too good photos for site which I'll charge a few thousand dollars to my client...

This I don't agree with.  I'm fine with a "search" or "research" fee added on to find the image.  But gouging the client just because you can isn't very smart.

« Reply #57 on: August 22, 2009, 07:57 »
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For 15 $ I have too good photos for site which I'll charge a few thousand dollars to my client...

This I don't agree with.  I'm fine with a "search" or "research" fee added on to find the image.  But gouging the client just because you can isn't very smart.

I am not saying that the client pays only a reselling of picture, he pays the whole project where the image is only a small part of overall and demanding job, with all wishes fulfilled by the client, with probably the annual maintenance of the site...

The aim was to show the cost of some image is minimal compared to the price of the final product for someone like web designer...
This is an investment in raw materials, like in any other industry...
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 08:07 by borg »

« Reply #58 on: August 22, 2009, 08:03 »
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I have friend who is web designer... He works for big american company for a 10 years or more, I think....

He said:
"Before microstock was very hard to find "good enough" photo on free photos site, I need several hours to find subject for my project, often with too bad quality...

After start of microstock I never go on free sites again...
For 15 $ I have too good photos for site which I'll charge a few thousand dollars to my client... Before microstock I have to (very often) to take my compact camera and try to shot some isolation or some object on white, only because I couldn't find that motive on internet...
That was big waste of time for me"

If he worked for a big American company and is charging a few thousand dollars, why was he even looking for 'Free Images' spending 'Several Hours' looking at 'Bad Quality', the savings alone for the hours he charged looking for free images or playing with his P&S would have more than covered the cost of safe quality images from an agency.

This type of thing so de-values microstock I hope the end clients get to read this topic, the artist gets a few dollars and the designer wastes chargable time passing this onto the clients few thousand dollar fee, is the designers work worth that much more, microstock should have a good look at introducing licences that stop this kind of commercial abuse.

David    
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 08:12 by Adeptris »

« Reply #59 on: August 22, 2009, 08:15 »
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Maybe is problem in my English language, I don't know how to explain to you...

I was trying to explain situation  before Microstock and after...

If some project cost few thousand dollars,  doesn't mean that is web designer's fee... That is all-included price...

Also one big interactive web site isn't only "micro image"+ playing in photoshop...

Programming of engine costs, design costs pictures cost, servers cost, site domain cost, maintanance cost etc.
Team of people are working on one good interactive web site...

Of course, I am also for higher prices for microstocks photos... ;)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 08:25 by borg »

« Reply #60 on: August 22, 2009, 08:31 »
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Hi Borg,
My point was your friend would have better spent his time on the design and charged the customer for the purchased images, if the customer then asked about the cost of the images, your designer friend could say, "No problem I will just charge you for the time I spend looking for cheap poor quality images", the customer would pay the fee and the designer and his teams time would be better value being spent on the delivery of the 'bug free' website.

The images have always been out there but not at a price your friend liked  ;)

Often Free and 'Do-it-Yourself' is a false economy when looking for quality, I could likely research the web and fix my own car, but when I account for the time, effort and tools required I just go to the garage and hope to get a quality job, sure I always think that I have been overcharged, but then I think about my own charge out rates and it is not so bad.

I work in IT consultancy where charge out rates for the companies I contract to, can be 115 - 120 an hour to thier end clients, many services have been setup to undercut these rates, but none seem to have survived because they can not deliver the quality resources, so free and cheap is not always the best.

David
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 08:49 by Adeptris »

« Reply #61 on: August 22, 2009, 11:13 »
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I guess we all just agree to meet right here, 2 years from today, andd see how much free stock imagery is available, and what that's done to the microstock market.

« Reply #62 on: August 22, 2009, 11:46 »
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I guess we all just agree to meet right here, 2 years from today, andd see how much free stock imagery is available, and what that's done to the microstock market.


Lets not wait 2 years but go back 9 years, in 2000 there was a website launched by a photographer named Bruce Livingstone to provide designers with 'Free Images', they were called IstockPhoto I wonder what ever happened to them?

Quote
As an experiment I started giving away my photographs. Members to the site suggested that they would also supply photographs if we built the mechanism. Jeffrey Zeldman and I were chatting about the old subscription models like ArtToday.com and how iStockphoto could be different. iStockphoto started as a simple photo sharing system for designers and photographers


Services might start as Free but the concept soon dies!

David  ;D
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 11:59 by Adeptris »

« Reply #63 on: August 22, 2009, 13:27 »
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Good point. Seems though that Livingstone wasn't trying to make money from a giveaway site - it was just a personal project. 

when a couple of the Big 6 players eventually get into money trouble, things may get crazy. They'll have millions of images in the bank, a vague sense that their model is losing steam, and will be under pressure (from owners and investors) to come up with new ways to make money from the images they already have. The rainbows of ad-supported free content, and free content as a hook to other paid services, are often chased at those times.  
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 13:55 by stockastic »

« Reply #64 on: August 22, 2009, 14:02 »
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I'm new to this forum but one thing is immediately clear, almost every thread dissolves into a row over how much everyone get's paid and RF versus RM.

It's enough to put me off Microstock before I've even got started.  :-[

« Reply #65 on: August 22, 2009, 14:26 »
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I'm new to this forum but one thing is immediately clear, almost every thread dissolves into a row over how much everyone get's paid and RF versus RM.

It's enough to put me off Microstock before I've even got started.  :-[

These are debates not arguments, it is always good to take other perspectives, a lot of contributors are sold on the hype of "easy money from your snaps" but the reality is this is a business, there are different photographers with different content, and that content might suit one model or the other, so we have supporters of all the different models.

Selective reading can take you down the wrong path, if you are starting out try the different models until you find one that fits your content, unlike the bad press not all microstock is 'smiling telephone support operators' and $0.25 a download, there is diverse content with different sites having different tastes and price points.

Sorry if our posts are putting you off.

David  ;)   

« Reply #66 on: August 22, 2009, 15:09 »
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Thanks David.

Regarding Madelaide's original post. It's a very forward-thinking suggestion - "freebies" are a proven business model. I base that on a working life spent selling everything from Computers to people (as a recruitment consultant - not a pimp).

There is a cost outlay but anything that links back to your product/service is a good thing in my book. I once read an article by a UK photographer who generated a lot of interest in his Fine Art photography by donating free images to small businesses;cafes,garages,doctor's surgeries etc across several counties.

It's not sustainable as a full-time practice but does uplift sales and with hard work and luck you can use that spike in activity as a springboard.

Cheers,Ed



« Reply #67 on: August 22, 2009, 16:20 »
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It's enough to put me off Microstock before I've even got started.  :-[

Good.

« Reply #68 on: August 22, 2009, 16:21 »
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I am not saying that the client pays only a reselling of picture, he pays the whole project where the image is only a small part of overall and demanding job, with all wishes fulfilled by the client, with probably the annual maintenance of the site...

Sorry - my bad.  I misread the statement.  :)

« Reply #69 on: August 22, 2009, 16:39 »
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It's enough to put me off Microstock before I've even got started.  :-[

Good.

Sir Locke,

I can see you have very little to worry about when it comes to competition - but your reply has motivated me to give RF a crack. Whether it was intended to or not.

Have a good weekend.

Ed




« Reply #70 on: August 22, 2009, 16:54 »
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I seem to recall a business model which gives away all its pictures and still has managed to eke out a profit of a few hundreds of billions of dollars over the years. A little business called 'broadcast TV'. I think it still brings in quite a bit more revenue than Getty does.

Google is busting its a$$ trying to find a way to make billions from Youtube, which gives away moving pictures. Anybody want to bet that they will not succeed? If people want something there will always be some people who will give it away, and others who will make a lot of money selling it.

« Reply #71 on: August 23, 2009, 07:00 »
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I can see you have very little to worry about when it comes to competition - but your reply has motivated me to give RF a crack. Whether it was intended to or not.

Go for it.  I dislike it when people expect us to motivate and convince them to compete with us.  At least you've got some initiative :) .

« Reply #72 on: August 23, 2009, 08:46 »
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I think microstock is going to be hitting a point soon where the content demanded fundamentally changes. They might be giving away lots of stuff, but its mostly rejects so far, or old content. I'm a firm believer in the idea that if you shoot what is up and coming in demand, but low in supply, you'll make money. I'm constantly searching for niches that have the potential to become the next "big thing".

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #73 on: August 23, 2009, 11:35 »
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Check this story on Wikipedia:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/21/hewlett_funds_wikipedia/

Wikipedia's free content is paid for by big donations from individuals and groups. And they're barely scraping by.  As the article points out, watch for this "free" content to become ad-supported in the future.



And what do you think is going to happen when corporate sponsors are paying for ads? Right, they'll want full control over their company's Wikipedia content and it will no longer be really community driven.

« Reply #74 on: August 23, 2009, 13:28 »
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[And what do you think is going to happen when corporate sponsors are paying for ads?

Nothing good, that's for sure.  "Free" only works until the novelty wears off. 




 

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